Build Your Top 20

by placers on July 26, 2019 in Outside Insights



Build Your Top 20


We often think of being “results based” as simply achieving outcomes. Getting shit done. Hitting your forecast or sales quotas. Winning. You get the picture.

But before you work full-steam ahead towards these outcomes you must clearly and succinctly understand what you’re trying to accomplish. What is the desired end result of the blood, sweat, and tears that you pour into your work? Remember, activity without achieving the desired outcome is simply “noise”.

Which brings me to the importance of building your Top 20. As a business owner, I’ve relied on key relationships over the years to help reach objectives and grow my organization. Personally, these relationships have made me a better leader. And just as my network has helped me, I’ve helped them.


Do you have a Top 20? Or maybe even a Top 5? It’s important. Here are tips for building your network:

Who should be in your Top 20?

  • Who can you count on to mentor and advise you?
  • Who will tell you the truth?
  • Who will hold you accountable?
  • Who wants to help you succeed?
  • Who can help you build your network?


It may seem like a lot, but your Top 20 should be your shortlist. Networking is everything – even in a world where we can buy anything with one click. We need human beings to connect us.


“Anytime you’re tempted to upsell someone else, stop what you’re doing and upserve instead. Don’t try to increase what they can do for you. Elevate what you can do for them”.

Daniel Pink, To Sell Is Human


I have a challenge for you. Start a Google doc and list your top twenty current relationships. Think clients (past and present), partners, past colleagues, like-minded entrepreneurs, etc. Every week take action to cultivate and grow your list. The key is that this list should help you achieve your goals. If you’re not where you would like to be, take a look at your list and re-evaluate. I’ve made it a practice to ask people if they are willing to be on my list. You can’t be shy! While you may only have a handful of contacts to start, that’s ok. But twenty is the magic number you’ll want to strive for.

One year from now I am confident that your list will have flourished. I’m also willing to bet that you, and your organization, will have flourished as well.


For more discovery:

Knowing how to foster meaningful relationships is key to building your Top 20. Relationships do not last forever when one gives and the other simply takes. I recommend reading Business Relationships That Last: Five Steps To Transform Contacts into High Performing Relationships by Ed Wallace. Ask yourself, what can you offer those in your network?

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